Hey, You cheated the bear
"Hell to Pay"
Dory Funk Sr. Dory Funk Jr. - Coach of the Funking Conservatory
In the summer of 1964, The Amarillo territory was on fire. I was
in my second year of wrestling. The Sheik
was the top heel. He was supported with great talent. Wahoo McDanial was playing football with the New
York Jets in the fall. In the winter he would join us working the Amarillo Territory.
Sputnik Monroe, Killer Karl Kox, Dick Steinborne, Ricky Romero, Mike
Dibiase, Louis Martinez, Sir
Nelson Royal, Dan Miller, Jose Lothario, Gorgeous George Jr., and The Dalton Brothers were some of
the great workers in the territory along with my father, Dory Funk Sr and myself.
At a meeting of the wrestlers in the Amarillo Territory, My Father,
Dory Funk Sr. was speaking. "Fellas,
business is good and I thank all of you for your hard work. We have an opportunity to make our business
even better. I got a call from Tuffy Truesdale and his bear, Victor will be available to work the territory.
We are going to book him as the meanest bear ever. He is seven feet tall and booked properly, "Man
Against Beast," he will draw lots of money. What I need to know is, Who wants to wrestle the bear?"
My father's question was met with complete silence.... He said, "Killer
Karl Kox, how about you. You will
draw nothing but money with the bear." Kox responded, "Funk, don't even consider me getting in the ring
with no *#@!%~ bear. He asked The Sheik? His manager, Jack Cain answered, "Sheik don't speak
English" He askid his friend, Iron Mike Dibiase? "Funk, You know me better than that. I didn't spend my
life in wrestling so I could wrestle a bear." "Nelson Royal?" "Aaaaggghhhh!" Nelson just screamed.
Sputnik Monroe jumped up and said, "Boss, I would eat that bear up like borden house pie and the fans
would think I was practicing animal cruelty so I don't think it is a good idea." Dory Sr said, "Alright, Alright,
I can see nobody wants to wrestle the bear, but we are going to draw money in spite of you guys. I am going
to book an "Over the Top Rope, Bear Battle Royal" in Amarillo and everyone can wrestle Victor The Bear."
Victor The Alaskan Black Bear
In Amarillo Texas the advance was great and we expected a sellout.
On Wednesday, the day before the
show, the local game warden, Woody Pond called the wrestling office and said, Victor was an Alaskan
Black Bear and a protected game animal. We were informed that an Alaskan Black Bear could not
wrestle in Amarillo.
My father was not to be denied a good house. He called Gorgeous George
Jr. and told him to go down
town and get a dozen cans of brown hair spray and bring it Thursday night. We changed the publicity and
booked, "Boris, the Russian Brown Bear."
I was standing in the ring with twelve wrestlers waiting for Boris
the Russian Brown Bear to come into
the ring. There was a commotion from the back. Out came a mad, Lady Clairol freshly sprayed Russian
brown bear that resembled Victor. He was growling, snorting, and swatting at his trainer. I don't think he
liked the smell of hair spray all over his coat.
Boris the Russian Brown Bear
The bear came in the ring with a deep guttural roar. He swatted his
manager, knocking him down then,
breaking away from his leash. He chased every wrestler out the ring before the start of the match. With
everyone on the floor, the bear walked around the ring and pissed a gallon of urine all over the mat.
When the wrestlers returned to the ring, the match was started..
The Sheik pulled the hair on the bear's
ass. Boris, aka Victor, thought Wahoo did it and took off after him. Wahoo and Jack Cain tried to jump
out of the ring at the same time to escape Boris. The ropes sprung back throwing Jack off balance. He
landed head first on the floor and the top of his bald head was bleeding when he came back into the ring.
Victor cleaned house until my father gave me the signal. I started
undoing the ropes at the top
turnbuckle, then the middle and finally the bottom turnbuckle. We dropped the ropes down on the mat
then Dad and I pushed the Bear out of the ring. (Over the top rope) We won the Over Top Rope
As we were leaving the ring I could hear some of the fans yelling,
"Hey, that's not fair, you cheated
The last night of the Bear's trek through the Amarillo Territory
was in Abilene Texas. Louis Martinez
made the mistake of trying to grab the bear by the muzzle. Louis's finger slipped in behind the muzzle
and the bear clamped down with his molars. Louis was trapped. The bear crunched down and the end of
Louis' finger was gone. Victor just sat in the middle of the ring chewing on the finger. Then, he
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!BANG! Television Tapings, "Hell
On Saturday October 26th at the Dory Funk Arena in Ocala, Florida we will have a Battle Royal.
The winner of the Funking Conservatory Battle Royal will be presented the !BANG! television
championship belt and receive the opportunity that night to wrestle Adam Windsor for the Funking
Conservatory World Championship.
Our special guest will not be Boris the Russian Brown Bear but she
could cause just as much trouble.
At our !BANG! Television Tapings or special guest will be, The First Lady of Wrestling, Missy Hyatt
If you would like to be a part of our !BANG! television tapings you
E-mail Marti Funk
Call - (352) 895-4658